“Every child has a different learning style and pace. Each child is unique, not only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding.”
Robert John Meehan, American teacher
Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Information Report
‘Aspire not to have more but to be more”
St. Oscar Romero
Our aim is to ensure that pupils with SEND are fully integrated in the life of the school. Our commitment is to enable them to achieve their educational and personal potential and be happy in school.
020 8698 2675
Higher Level Teaching Assistant
SEN Teaching Assistants
Elaine Chang Wai Ling
What kind of special educational needs are provided for at Holy Cross?
Additional and/or different provision is made in school for
children whose needs may fall into one or more of the four categories identified in the 2014 SEND Code of Practice:
- Cognition and Learning
- Sensory, Medical and Physical
- Communication and Interaction
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health
How do we identify children with SEND and assess their needs?
Parents and carers are encouraged to inform us of any learning needs their child has. Children’s needs may be identified during home and school visits, or from previous settings before the child starts school. Children’s learning and development are continually monitored and assessed by class teachers, which enables them to identify pupils with additional needs. At Holy Cross we use Target Tracker, an electronic assessment tool which monitors progress and attainment. Our Assessment and Feedback Policy offers further information and is available from school.
Each term Pupil Progress Meetings are held between Class Teachers and the Senior Leadership of the School (Executive Headteacher, Head of School, English and Maths Lead Teachers, Early Years Leader and Inclusion Manager) to review pupil’s progress and attainment and agree on future support.
Additional assessment tools may be used in school by the Inclusion Manager to obtain further understanding of a child’s learning difficulties. These include:
- Dyslexia Portfolio
- Language assessments
- British Picture Vocabulary Scale III
- Ravens Coloured Progressive Matrices
- York Assessment of Reading Comprehension
- Phonological Awareness Training
- Social Communication Questionnaire
Following agreement with parents or carers, we may refer a pupil for further assessment of their needs to outside professional or support agencies. Many of these are based at Kaleidoscope, a partnership between Lewisham Healthcare and Lewisham Borough’s Directorate of Children and Young People and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Kaleidoscope brings together specialist community services for health, disability, mental health, education and social care.
- Paediatric Clinic
- Communication Clinic
- Speech and Language Therapy Service (SALT)
- Specific Learning Difficulty Team (SpLD)
- Educational Psychology Team (EP)
- Occupational Therapy Team (OT)
- Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
- Children’s Social Care
- Inclusion Outreach Service
- School Nurse Service
- Drumbeat Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Outreach Team
- Lewisham Parent and Carer’s Forum
Further information on identification and assessment of pupils with SEND is in our SEND Policy which is available on the school’s website.
How do we consult parents of pupils with SEND and involve them in their child’s education?
Positive collaboration between parents and staff enables us to achieve the best outcomes for children. Parents are encouraged to share information about their child to help us plan the most appropriate support for them. Class Teachers and the Inclusion Manager will discuss with parents the reason for adding their child to the Special Educational Needs register and the support with learning provided.
Parents’ Evenings are held in the Autumn and Spring Term each year. At the Autumn meeting, Class Teachers (with the Inclusion Manager where possible) and parents meet to discuss the child’s strengths, interests and needs. The Spring Term meeting reviews progress so far and discusses updated outcomes to focus on. Throughout the year parents are welcome to meet Class Teachers and the Inclusion Manager to discuss their child’s needs. In the Summer Term, parents receive their child’s Annual School Report showing progress, attainment and future steps.
The Inclusion Team holds a Coffee Morning each term for parents of pupils with SEND. Guest speakers are often invited and the Inclusion Team is available to answer questions and provide information about the support offered to pupils in school.
Meetings are arranged between parents and professionals from external agencies who have assessed pupils, to share information and discuss the support needed by the child.
As well as speaking to Class Teachers about their child, parents can contact the Inclusion Manager in person, by phone or email. We will make the earliest appointment possible to discuss a child’s needs.
Due to the 2019 Covid Pandemic, some meetings and visits have had to be undertaken remotely via platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Coffee mornings are temporarily postponed until restrictions are lifted enabling us to meet safely inside.
What arrangements are there for assessing and reviewing children’s progress towards outcomes?
We use the “Assess, plan, do, review” cycle, whereby teachers are continually assessing pupils’ learning through marking of work, discussions with and observations of pupils. Teachers’ planning responds to their assessments. For some children external agencies may carry out specific assessments and reviews. There is an assessment week each term when a range of different assessment tools are used to evaluate progress and attainment. The outcomes are discussed and updated at Pupil Progress meetings with Class Teachers and the Senior Leadership Team. Pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) are formally reviewed annually at a meeting between parents, staff and, when possible, our SEND Case Officer from the local authority. Early Years pupils in Nursery and Reception will have six monthly reviews of their EHCP.
What arrangements are there for supporting children moving between phases of education?
We personalise transition arrangements for pupils according to their needs. The types of support arranged include:
- Home visits
- Visits to prior settings (Nurseries, play groups, schools)
- Meetings with parents or carers
- Visits arranged for pupil joining Holy Cross
- Visits to new classroom and to meet the new teacher
- Transition booklets with photos (copy for home and copy for school)
- Personalised social stories to help children prepare for transition
- Opportunities to talk to children from the new year group
- Inclusion Manager and Team to visit receiving school of pupils leaving Holy Cross
- Inclusion Team accompany pupils on visit to new school
- Invitations to SENCO and new Class Teacher at receiving school to visit Holy Cross and meet pupil in a familiar setting
- Personalised travel support for pupils starting new Secondary School
What is our approach to teaching children with SEND?
Our aim is to support all children to fulfil their unique potential and to become as independent in their learning as possible. We have very high expectations of pupils with SEND and an absolute commitment to support them in achieving their best. Class Teachers and Support Staff ensure they know pupils’ needs and strengths. All pupils with SEND will be taught in class with their peers whenever possible and will take part in extra-curricular activities. Some pupils with SEND will benefit from small group or individual support outside of the classroom for part of the day. This is planned according to pupils’ needs.
How are adaptations made to the curriculum and learning environment of children with SEND?
Quality First Teaching provides for most pupils’ needs and learning styles. Planning ensures work is set at an appropriate level for different pupils’ abilities and needs. Classroom environments are stimulating, supportive and well-resourced. A range of equipment is available to personalise the learning environment for pupils and to support pupils with additional needs. Pupils will be seated to enable them to focus and work well. Some pupils will work in Learning Support rooms for a lesson or part of a lesson, with a higher degree of adult support.
How do we ensure the expertise and training of staff to support children with SEN, including specialist expertise, will be secured?
The Inclusion Manager supports staff in planning for children with SEND. Continuous professional development is arranged according to the School Development Plan and needs of the pupils.
Holy Cross Staff have access to a wide range of professional development opportunities to enhance their knowledge and expertise in supporting pupils with SEND. Training may be provided by external trainers, delivered in house, or staff may attend specific training courses run by outside agencies.
The Inclusion Manager, Mairi Tullett, has the Masters Level National Award for SENCOs. Cathie Clayden is a Higher Level Teaching Assistant and is part of the Inclusion Team. Members of SEN support staff have undertaken several courses across all areas of special educational need and have a wide range of expertise. All staff are trained regularly in the safe administration of medicine to pupils.
Holy Cross purchases a Service Level Agreement with the following Lewisham Teams: Educational Psychology, Specific Learning Difficulty, Drumbeat Autistic Spectrum Outreach and Speech and Language. The Inclusion Team and staff work closely with these agencies to review and improve practice. Additional support for pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs are provided by an Inclusion Outreach Teacher who is allocated to Holy Cross for two hours a week.
How do we evaluate the effectiveness of the provision made for children with SEND?
Teaching and learning are evaluated using the “Assess, plan, do, review” cycle. This is embedded in our teaching practice. Teaching and support staff collaborate in this process. Termly Pupil Progress Meetings evaluate the provision formally and future support is planned according to pupils’ needs and the impact of interventions. Pupils are encouraged to consider their own learning styles to help them develop their self-awareness and to support them in overcoming barriers to learning.
How are children with SEND enable to engage in activities available to pupils in school who do not have SEND?
We adhere to the guidance in the Equality Act 2010 to:
- Eliminate discrimination
- Advance equality of opportunity
- Foster good relations
Additional support is provided to enable children with SEND to be as fully involved as possible in all aspects of school life including extra-curricular activities. Individual risk-assessments are carried out, where appropriate, to ensure pupil’s safety. Each term we monitor the numbers of pupils with SEND attending school clubs and encourage them to participate.
What support for improving emotional and social development do we offer?
We ensure we know our children and are available to listen to them. We are alert to any changes in behaviour and offer support when needed. We work in partnership with parents and carers to offer support to pupils and their families at times of difficulty. At Holy Cross pupils’ emotional and social development is supported by the following:
- Robust safeguarding procedures
- Good liaison between all staff to ensure we are alert to and can respond promptly to children’s needs
- Buddy system between Year 6 and Reception
- Peer and adult mentors
- Worry Boxes
- Circle of Friends and other nurturing interventions
- Class circle times
- Prayer dedications
- Lego Groups
- Personalised transition arrangements
- Social stories
- Support from the Parish – St Vincent de Paul Society
- Inclusion Outreach sessions for individual pupils or small groups
Who are the other professionals who may be involved with my child in school?
After assessment and discussion with parents or carers and staff, pupils may be referred to an external professional or support service. For many referrals, parents will work with the Inclusion Manager to complete the necessary documentation. Please see point 2 for list of and links to professionals and agencies. External professionals will usually meet or speak to parents or carers at Holy Cross School as part of the assessment process of their child.
How do we support children with SEND looked after by the local authority?
We monitor these pupils’ academic and social development carefully. Regular meetings are held between school, carers and local authority agencies involved with the children. We are sensitive to the children’s family situations and support them as needed to fulfil their potential at Holy Cross. An annual Personal Education Plan (PEP) meeting is held with key personnel to carefully track the progress of the pupil and to support them to achieve and to be aspirational. Appropriate personalised pastoral support will be offered.